During the 1990s registries of deeds across the country increasingly converted their index creation, storage and presentation to computers that ran various land management software applications. As registry users became comfortable with this new technology, they began demanding that land data be entered into these computers in a standard way. Early on, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia all adopted deed indexing standards and vendors of land management applications whose territories were nationwide carried these standards to other jurisdictions including Massachusetts.
Guided by the work of other states, the Massachusetts Registers of Deeds Association set out to draft standards for the Commonwealth. The first version of the standards went into effect on January 1, 2000. Since then, there have been several updates.
From time to time in the coming weeks, I'll do occasional blog posts giving some of the history and background of various aspects of the standards.